Cathedrals will fall, the river will run red... and THE BIRD will be SLAUGHTERED!

REVIEW: Latched

– By Dave Cliffe

The bond between mother and son is given a whole new perspective in the latest short horror film from directors, Justin Harding and Rob Brunner. Single mom Alana (Alana Elmer) and her young son Bowen (Bowen Harding) escape to a wooded retreat so that Alana can work on her choreography skills and innovative dance styles in preparation for a new stage production back in the big city. However, during their stay, Alana, Bowen and their cantankerous neighbour, played by Peter Higginson, discover something strange in the nearby woods that at first, seems harmless but turns out to be a creature from another world.

Latched debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival last month and as a short piece of magical horror, this is something quite special; the concept is quite ingenious – imagine Guillermo del Toro and David Cronenberg, with a twist of The Blair Witch.

The meta-style approach to the feature deserves great credit and works wonders with both the narrative construction and resonating realism in performance; Alana and Bowen are the wife and son of director, Harding. The performance of Alana is standout too; she commands every scene and encompasses confidence and tone in her delivery. The cinematography is well done; elevated camera shots and immersive close-ups draw the audience into the horror that unfolds; the atmospheric music heightens this sense of dread too.

The only major criticism is that the reveal of the entity is too fast and is overtly-revealed early on; using shadows and angles of the entity more, before the big reveal, would have embodied a greater sense of suspense and horror. However, this is a well-accomplished piece of magical body horror; with this genre it is often about the concept and premise of the piece and this one is wholly original, moreover, it deserves a longer story time to develop character and story more – could the entity be of a larger world within the woods?

Let’s hope Harding, Brunner and Elmer get duly-recognised in the coming months when their film features at different film festivals around the word, because Latched is definitely worth checking out. Just don’t see at parent and child screenings; meta could be taken to a whole new other level.

2 Responses to REVIEW: Latched

  • I thought the opening sequence, of Alana rehearsing her sequence while driving and using the rhythm to soothe her child was great – you really gothink a sense of how well she coped juggling career and maternity. You liked her instantly.

    • Totally agree! She drew you in straight in away; very charismatic and hopefully I’ll see more of her soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Slaughtered Bird Films’ BURN receives its first reviews!
Burn Slaughtered Bird Films and Dragon Egg Media’s debut film collaboration, Burn, has received its first couple of online reviews, after a preview screening at the Triple Six Horror Festival in Manchester, May 27th. Read on...
INTERVIEW: David Naughton
untitled It’s not every day you get to speak to the lead actor in possibly your favourite horror film of all time. Especially on a Tuesday. Tuesdays are usually rubbish! David Naughton should need no introduction to horror fans. Back in 1981, An American Werewolf In London had unprepared cinema goers laughing heartily one second and jumping out of their seats in terror the next. Its tale of two young American tourists coming face-to-teeth with a legendary lycanthropic beast perfectly married a genuinely funny script with razor sharp editing, groundbreaking special effects and a flawless cast to create a monster movie that is still many people’s benchmark today Read on...
Advertise HERE!
CQJR7SyWwAADBd_ We currently have advertising space available at very reasonable rates, so if you have a product you want to let people know about then please email us at theslaughteredbird@gmail.com with your needs and we can give you more info. Read on...